Event Title

Conceptualizing Principles of Optimum Experience in Irish Traditional Music

Start Date

30-5-2011 3:00 PM

End Date

30-5-2011 3:30 PM

Description

Irish traditional music to this day is primarily a rich oral tradition, its transmission from one generation to the next being one of its defining characteristics. It lives through this process of transmission from musician to musician, teacher to student, one individual to another, sustained by a cohesive system of principles and values that imbues each experience of the tradition with social meaning and cultural relevance. While the primarily aural, oral, non-literacy, and informal nature of the processes of transmission within the tradition have been widely referred to (Veblen 1995; McCarthy 1999; Vallely 1999; Smith 2005; O' Shea 2008; Ó Dubhthaigh 2009; O' Flynn 2009), what constitutes an ‘optimum experience’ of the tradition has received considerably less attention. This in turn has led to many questions existing around the concept of realizing “authentic musical traditions in context” within educational contexts. This paper presents Slí an Cheoil [The Way of the Music], a longitudinal classroom-based study which was designed to investigate the experience of Irish traditional music, by two music teachers and their students, in the context of post-primary music education in Ireland. A dialogical approach involving the perspectives of an inquirer from within the tradition, music teachers and students in a formal educational context, and several visiting Irish traditional musicians had considerable theoretical, ethical, and methodological implications for this study. For example, in terms of the ethical considerations, it was necessary to adopt an epistemological position between the modified objectivity of a postpositivist approach, and that of a constructivist approach, where findings often arose from close interaction and negotiation between the ‘inquirer’ and ‘inquired into’. In terms of the methodological design, action research methodology (utilising classroom observations and interviews) was the primary guiding methodology for the study, and grounded theory was the primary analytical tool for the data which emerged from the classroom observations and teacher interviews. While this paper gives an overview of the findings of Slí an Cheoil, it focusses on the principle of ‘aural learning’, and the five stages of aural progression which were identified over the course of the study.

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May 30th, 3:00 PM May 30th, 3:30 PM

Conceptualizing Principles of Optimum Experience in Irish Traditional Music

Irish traditional music to this day is primarily a rich oral tradition, its transmission from one generation to the next being one of its defining characteristics. It lives through this process of transmission from musician to musician, teacher to student, one individual to another, sustained by a cohesive system of principles and values that imbues each experience of the tradition with social meaning and cultural relevance. While the primarily aural, oral, non-literacy, and informal nature of the processes of transmission within the tradition have been widely referred to (Veblen 1995; McCarthy 1999; Vallely 1999; Smith 2005; O' Shea 2008; Ó Dubhthaigh 2009; O' Flynn 2009), what constitutes an ‘optimum experience’ of the tradition has received considerably less attention. This in turn has led to many questions existing around the concept of realizing “authentic musical traditions in context” within educational contexts. This paper presents Slí an Cheoil [The Way of the Music], a longitudinal classroom-based study which was designed to investigate the experience of Irish traditional music, by two music teachers and their students, in the context of post-primary music education in Ireland. A dialogical approach involving the perspectives of an inquirer from within the tradition, music teachers and students in a formal educational context, and several visiting Irish traditional musicians had considerable theoretical, ethical, and methodological implications for this study. For example, in terms of the ethical considerations, it was necessary to adopt an epistemological position between the modified objectivity of a postpositivist approach, and that of a constructivist approach, where findings often arose from close interaction and negotiation between the ‘inquirer’ and ‘inquired into’. In terms of the methodological design, action research methodology (utilising classroom observations and interviews) was the primary guiding methodology for the study, and grounded theory was the primary analytical tool for the data which emerged from the classroom observations and teacher interviews. While this paper gives an overview of the findings of Slí an Cheoil, it focusses on the principle of ‘aural learning’, and the five stages of aural progression which were identified over the course of the study.